What’s ‘today’s’ 50-Year-old Issue – here featuring ‘The Bed-In’ in Montreal – have to do with our current 2019 reality? It’s a Double-Header ~ all wrapped up in those 2 song titles of this Throwback Thursday. (Ah… you hadn’t noticed?) And, I’ll say, too, that John Lennon is our central figure… as he wrote both of them.
First, I think it’s a given as to why “Give Peace a Chance” is still relevant – since it was first penned, it’s been a half-century of war without cessation. And, yet, the news of the day is that our own Administration is upping the ante – it’s fighting hard to sell arms – 8 Billion+, as a matter of fact – with the newly raised old argument of ‘maintaining the ‘Balance of Power’ in order to prevent war’.
And, oh, yes… once the Executive Branch slaps Congress aside, it will need to (again, just like in the good old days) help out all those other countries we just put at a disadvantage. But, hey, it makes those cash registers ring, doesn’t it, Mr. Trump?
Pardon me for a moment, and let me slip in this fun fact: in the 130 or so of these 50-Year-old Throwback Thursday Issues I’ve written since the 2016 Inauguration, I’ve not ever — not even once – typed in that person’s name into this feature. Does that seem odd?
Or not any more odd than the fact that Give Peace A Chance, recorded in early June ’69, was an undeniable anti-war anthem of immense popularity (hot on the Billboard Hot 100 when released in early July, sung that November by 500,000+ demonstrators on the Vietnam Memorial Day, rechartering in ’81, and making it to #1 with a Yoko Ono vocal in 2008) – ALL without ever saying that ugly 3-letter word.
Yeah, I, too, thought and did get away without pointing to the obvious – but now it seems that not naming he who should be nameless is, essentially, pointless. And maybe even dangerous, in that it’s important that we all recognize that this is not America’s native orientation, this is Trump’s. And it is he who has to be tossed before America is forced, by him, to take a step too far.
So let that song’s mainline hum away in your head and keep you on track,. Let’s hope it keeps us all on track.
As to that other song – well, hey, it’s too much fun to miss – so I’m putting in the video link right now. (You can go to it below.) But, first, how does it possibly relate to anything here, at all?? Well… there’s John – as mentioned previously – and Timothy (the ‘Timmy’ in GPAC) and our own, current, rush by just about everyone to run for Office. In those days, Leary, too, had it in his head – he thought Cali was ready to have him as its Governor.
With a campaign slogan of “Come Together, join the party.” he had John write it’s theme song! So far, so good, right? Not quite. He still had a date with the judge on another marijuana charge and – unbelievably – wasn’t keen on Lennon’s effort. He turned it down, but it turned out OK – John eventually got out of bed, re-wrote, and re-purposed it. Now, too, an anthem on it’s own, here’s “Come Together” featuring its un-credited, but actual, co-writer (nope, Paul didn’t have a thing to do with this one). Enjoy – I know you know all the words 🙂
Is that all for this Issue? Heck, no. After all, it is our largest to date ~ 72 pages divided into 3 parts. There’s our leading section of poli sci insights, this one reporting on the wide-spread Venice drug busts of John Does, a troubling coming-soon-to-us visit by the Subversive Activities Control Board, LACC campus politics, Chicanos busted by informers, the conundrum of the 2 James earl Ray(s), the Guatemala situation, the winning ways of the GI Mutiny, and the dangerous development of the women vs. the institution of marriage(!), and our ever-entertaining Letters to the Editor.
A section section is devoted to the art scene – what’s ‘playing’ and what can be thought about it all – by Gene Youngblood, Liza Williams, Paul Schrader, John Wilcock, Harlan Ellison, and others. The 3rd section, is our monthly Living Arts. In this one you could find book reviews (i.e. Die Nigger Die by Rap Brown, reviewed by Earl Ofari, Zapata and the Mexican Revolution by John Womack, reviewed by Alex Apostolides, and many more by other writers you might not have thought worked for the LA Free Press), an article on the LA radio market, poetry, interviews with or pieces on artists of all genres (this edition – Ginsberg by Lawrence Lipton, and John Mayall interviewed by John Carpenter). There’s even a serialization of an un-published book by Edmund Carpenter and Marshall McLuhan!